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Mandela to Spend Christmas in Hospital

Former South African president Nelson Mandela observes his 94th birthday at his house in Qunu, Eastern Cape, July 18, 2012.
South African officials said former president Nelson Mandela will spend Christmas in a hospital.

The office of the presidency issued a statement confirming his doctors' decision on Monday.

The 94-year-old anti-apartheid icon was admitted to a Pretoria hospital on December 8. He underwent surgery to remove gallstones on Saturday, a few days after doctors treated a lung problem.

Mandela, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, became South Africa's first black president in 1994 after spending 27 years in prison for his opposition to apartheid.

He has grown frail and has made few public appearances in recent years.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.